Movie Review: God’s Not Dead & Apologetic Considerations

imagesRecently, I saw the movie “God’s Not Dead,” which I was very interested in two reasons. One, I have studied apologetics (the defense of the Christian faith) extensively and the movie centers heavily on Christian apologetics. Second, I had read Rice Broocks book, “God’s Not Dead” that the movie is based on. Both reasons combined caused me to have high expectations for the movie and I am happy to report that I was pleasantly surprised with the film. Therefore, I highly recommend anyone to see the movie for the following reasons:

1. The Apologetics Point To The Gospel. – In recent months I have been very discouraged by the Christian apologetic community. My displeasure comes from arrogant “apologists” who need to always be right and seem to only want to argue another. Additionally, I have seen far too many “apologists” fail to reach a lost culture because some reject the need to point people to Christ since they are more concerned with their arguments that glorify themselves than the Son of God. In contrast, “God’s Not Dead” uses in-depth arguments to point towards the existence of God, but it also presents the Gospel message of salvation and hope found in Jesus Christ.

2. The Film Answers Current Atheistic Questions. – After academically studying apologetics for a few years, a danger I have seen from Christians when they initially discover apologetics is that they learn outdated arguments. “God’s Not Dead” contrasts this habit by addressing new atheistic concerns. For example Stephen Hawkings is quoted to say,

“Because there is a law like gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.” 

Hawkings’ quote is about four (4) years old, which means it is still considered recent research and one that could stump many Christians. In fact, in the movie the central protagonist is initially stumped when the central antagonist offers Hawking’s quote. However, the movie provides an answer by saying,

“this is circular logic” because what is really being said is that “the universe created itself because of gravity and gravity exists because the universe created itself.”

As you can see Hawking’s quote despite the mathematics he used to reach his conclusion does not sufficiently answer the question of the origin of life, according researcher John Lennox. Arguments such as this are explained in more detail and with greater clarity in the movie, which is another of the films strengths.

3. The Movie Encourages Apologetics But Shows It Takes Work. – Please know I still see a great need for apologetics, especially in a culture that is increasingly becoming more post-Christian. Also know that the study of apologetics takes work and the film shows this as the main antagonist is shown doing a lot research in the library. This aspect from “God’s Not Dead” is healthy because as viewers its easy to become caught up in the excitement that occurs as the protagonist wins in the end, but for his victory to occur it took a lot of work, and it will in our lives too.

4. The Movie Was Fun And Apologetics And Evangelism Can Be Fun Too. – Let’s be honest, sharing our faith is scary today. It always has been to some degree, but it is even more difficult when the world seems to have all of the answers. “God’s Not Dead” encourages believers by showing them that there are deep answers about our Christian faith. It shows us that the answers will take some work, but the work is valuable because we serve a God who has some of the best answers to life if we are willing to dig deeper than the surface level. As a result, there is a joy to our faith to discover that can make both apologetics and evangelism fun and exciting when we are willing to take the time to do the research.

5. Serving Jesus Requires Humility, Including Apologetics And Evangelism.“God’s Not Dead”  has a foreign missionary that is trying to get to Disney World and he serves the film as its comic relief. He also has some deep reflections that are important to remember. Basically, “we must not just preach about faith, but live out our faith.” This quote is a paraphrase, but one that rings loud and clear because without humble faith no service we do for the Lord will be successful. This includes apologetics and evangelism, but with faith the rewards are amazing and very encouraging.

For someone who has grown weary of apologetics in recent months “God’s Not Dead” encouraged me that “Christian apologetics is NOT DEAD.” Rather when pursued humbly and with the Gospel in mind I have been reminded that studying our faith so we can better share are faith is fun and exciting. So I would encourage you to see the movie if you have not already. I would also challenge you to join me to grow deeper in your faith by studying more. If you would like to know how to begin please message me and I can point you in that direction.

In conclusion, regardless of how God leads you let me encourage you to always keep the Gospel of Jesus Christ the center of all your studies and spiritual formation. Without the Gospel we are simply building an empire for ourselves than one to the glory of God, which is not much different than an atheist who is living for him or herself. I hope you enjoy the movie and it will inspire you to find your deepest pleasure in Christ as you learn about Him more.

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